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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  August 31, 2018 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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house. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. a reminder to tune in tomorrow morning beginning at 8:30 eastern. chris matthews will anchor msnbc's coverage of john mccain's memorial service at the national cathedral in washington. barack obama and george w. bush will deliver eulogies. keep it here on msnbc. tonight on "all in." this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. >> the russian government had donald trump "over a barrel". >> no puppet, no puppet. >> and new reporting on what christopher steele told the justice department lawyer. >> i think bruce ohr is a disgrace. >> and why the president and his allies are trying to destroy bruce ohr. >> bruce and nellie ohr are the bonnie and clyde of collusion. >> so far every indictment is unrelated to the president. >> reporter: foreign money traced to the trump inauguration fund and another guilty plea
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produced by the mueller probe, and donald trump's emergency visit to texas to help ted cruz. >> i call him lying ted. >> "all in" starts right now. >> donald, you're a sniveling cowar coward. >> good evening, i'm chris says. there's a reason the president of the united states has been waging an all out public war against an obscure career civil servant -- because that civil servant reportedly had information in the summer of 2016 that russian intelligence believed "they had trump over a barrel." unless you watch fox news, you probably don't know anything about him. ohr spent a decades long career at doj prosecuting violent gangs and organized crime, developing a special focus on russian organized crime. and for those years since he first became a prosecutor 27 years ago, ohr was basically just a guy who went to work
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everyday doing his job investigating some pretty dangerous people on behalf of the u.s. government. until he ended up involved in the special counsel's russia pro probe. now, despite having been accused of no wrongdoing, bruce ohr is public enemy number one to the president and his allies. >> tonight we are blowing this case about bruce ohr, fisa abuse, wide open. i've been on the phone with sources all day and all night. >> i think bruce ohr is a disgrace with his wife nellie. for him to be in the justice department and to be doing what he did, that is a disgrace. >> he gets information, passes it to the fbi, that becomes the basis to spy on the trump campaign, plain and simple. >> that last part is not actually true. the president himself a couple days ago tweeted about orr who is a career civil servant. quote, the hell is bruce ohr still employed at the justice department, disgraceful,
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witch-hunt. he's threatened to strip ohr's security clearance. no one has been able to produce a shred of evidence that ohr did something wrong. now he's the villain in a far-right conspiracy theory claiming the russia probe was made up out of thin air and the theory centers on ohr's relationship with christopher steele, the man who compiled the intelligence dossier and on ohr's wife who worked for the research firm that hired steal to investigate candidate donald trump. that firm was conducting opposition research on behalf of republicans and then on documents. bruce ohr met steele a decade ago because they both investigated russian corruption and organized crime and he was the one steele contacted when he started hearing troubling information about a candidate
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for president. now we're learning about what steele told bruce ohr. sources telling the associated press, ohr said he learned from steele an unnamed former russian intelligence official had communicated that russian intelligence believed they had trump over a barrel. russian intelligence believed they had trump over a barrel. three months before the election, while he was running to be president of the united states. and that breakfast meeting came little over a week after wikileaks released the first batch of hacked dnc e-mails and exactly three days after trump asked russia for more help. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> bruce ohr has something significant with other justice department officials targeted by the president and his supporters.
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as the "atlantic's" natasha bertrand points out, many are experts in organized crime, some with a specific focus on russia. andrew mccabe, former debty director of the fbi who led a task force probing eurasian crime syndicates, lisa page, a former lawyer in the justice department's organized crime division whose cases focused on international money laundering, peter strzok, a former fbi agent who was chief of the bureau's counterespionage section and hunted russian spies in the u.s. all publicly maligned and forced out of their jobs under pressure from the president of the united states. to help understand what bruce ohr learned from christopher steele i'm joined by msnbc intelligence analyst malcolm nance, a former career naval intelligence officer and nbc justice analyst matt miller, former chief spokesperson at the justice department. malcolm, let me start with you. the details about ohr having breakfast with christopher steele is sort of -- goes along with the theory that steele is digging this up and starting to get super panicked about what
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he's finding. >> well, he should have because christopher steele was the head of the russian desk for british intelligence, mi6. he would know. he would have seen decades of patterns of activity and operations started to come to a head and see that pattern of influence through oligarchs, through russian mafia figures and then through politicians and then russian intelligence, start to focus on donald trump. this had to have occurred. i wrote a whole book about how it had to have occurred. for christopher steele as an intelligence professional like myself to see it, you're going to panic and wonder am i working with a politician who has been crafted by a foreign intelligence agency? that's why he wrote the dossier, that's why he took it to the fbi. to tell you the truth, he's more of a patriot than most people i've seen in the republican party. >> the timeline here is interesting, matt. you've got -- this is right at
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the crucial juncture, carter page goes to moscow, you get wikileaks releasing the hacked dnc e-mails which is the first alarm bell. you get trump's telling russia keep hacking, three days later ohr meets with christopher steele and the next day fbi opens up what would become the mueller investigation, ultimately, not because of ohr and steele, ohr doesn't tell anyone, but because of the tip from the australian diplomat who has george papadopoulos running around europe saying the russians have hillary's e-mails. >> that's right. the time line of that ohr meeting is coincidental. christopher steele was separately reaching out to the fbi later on in the summer and taking in the findings of the dossier which they used to supplement the information they had already opened based on the information they had received about george papadopoulos. i think if you look at what the president is doing with bruce ohr, he's trying to do two things. he's trying to make him the latest scapegoat he can use to discredit this investigation. the same way he's done with the people you listed, andy mccabe, lisa page, pete strzok.
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the other thing he's trying to do is he's trying to put pressure on the justice department. and not just pressure on civil servants like bruce ohr but pressure on the leadership of the farmt andjustice department. and we're not seeing the justice department back off its investigation but if you look at what's happened to bruce ohr, he's a civil servant who didn't do anything wrong in this investigation. there's no allegation, as you said, of -- credible allegation of wrongdoing. but in that same a.p. story that came out today, jeff sessions androd rosenstein, removed him, or so he was told, because as the leader of the organized crime task force he was going to have to interact with the white house. so white house pressure led him to being pushed out of an important job despite evidence of wrongdoing. an inappropriate act by the leadership of the department. >> malcolm, you're nodding your head. >> yeah, i am nodding my head. look, matt makes a great point here. what the white house is doing is they are essentially trying to turn ohr into rick gates so that
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they can sort of massage the jury pool, the future jury pool for an impeachment and say, hey, this guy isn't credible because he was involved in this and he's dirty in some way. he's dirty in one way -- and he's not actually dirty -- he is the man that hunted russian mafia figures that were money laundering dollars that they had stolen from the liquidation of the soviet union into the u.s. real estate market. donald trump must be terrified of him and everything that he's known. but like everything we have discerned with the mueller probe, this is going to be a document case. mueller is going to have 10,000 things on him and discrediting ohr is not going to work. >> you have this situation now. with page and strzok, matt, to get back to your point, there's no accusation of wrongdoing. with page and strzok there was. they had an affair, they
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conducted parts of it on government phones; that was against protocol, it was the reason they were in trouble and everyone read their texts. in this case, the democrats in congress are accusing republicans of leaking things that ohr had. he didn't do anything wrong. the guy is, like -- they accused republicans of cherry picking persons of e-mails and text messages between steel and ohr who were supposed to talk to each other to bolster a narrative they were part a conspiracy to undermine the trump campaign in 2016. >> so he had this breakfast with chris steele over the summer. didn't do anything. it wasn't until much later. so chris steele has this relationship with the fbi, he's talking to them, feeding them information. the fbi breaks that relationship with chris steele off in october because he goes to the press because he looks at what's happening, he looks at james comey and he's concerned the fbi is doing nothing with this information and the american people need to know about it. the fbi is mad about that. but after the election he continues to talk to bruce ohr and the fbi decides this is still valuable information for us to use. we can't use him as an official
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source because he broke our rules but we want to know what he has so bruce ohr is a conduit. bruce ohr, all of his meets with chris steele, he talks about the fbi beforehand, he takes the information and funnels it to the fbi. he does what he's supposed to do. the justice department said because he didn't report that to his superiors in the deputy attorney general's office, that was a mistake. you know, i can see that a -- a little bit of that argument but look at what was happening. it was during a transitions there was an outgoing deputy attorney general, sally yates, you can see why he wouldn't want to bring this information to her and maybe unfairly tarnish the president when she was leaving. then you had a new ag and deputy attorney general coming in immediately looking like they might have their own exposure. remember, jeff sessions in his confirmation hearing didn't tell the truth about his involvement with the russians so you can see why he would say i won't take this to the political leadership but i'll do the right thing and take it to the fbi. >> malcolm nance and matt miller, thank you both. appreciate it. for more on the president's
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personal campaign against career civil servants in the justice department, i'm joined by former acting u.s. solicitor general neil katyal. when you take a step back away from the details on what happened in the russia investigation and the details of the conspiracy theory being woven, you had the president of the united states using his power and leverage to attack over and over a civil servant in the career justice department. have you ever seen anything like this? >> not in america in recent years. we had the pendleton act in 1883 which my academic work is all about. which is to say we don't want a politicized career civil service and we haven't had one. the president has done a massive departure from norms to say this deep state, not just bruce ohr but he's on a campaign waged against a federal work force and our federal work force, the pendleton act set it up this
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way, because we don't want americans fearing that the people who read our tax returns or something like that are political and they're not. i served twice at the justice department, once in the solicitor general's office, all with career deputies and career lawyers and once in the deputy attorney general's office where mr. ohr works and both times staffed with career people and honestly it brings tears to your eyes to see how non-political these folks are day in and day out. and it was incredibly inspiring to me. and to have the president say this kind of stuff, i mean, you know, yes, it's a theme on "homeland" the tv show, but it isn't something we would expect in america. it's something chavez did in venezuela. it's something erdogan did in turkey, firing 150,000 civil service workers. but this is not the american government, at least not since 1883. >> i wonder, too, if you think -- i mean, it's not a violation of the law because he still has his job, though were he to be fired it seems like he might have a case. >> a great case.
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>> i think he's got a good case at this point. how the hell does the guy have a job. but even if he's not fired, what effect does this have on how people do their jobs? this is the most powerful person in the world. you're just a random dude who works in the justice department. you go about your life. you are now on tv every night, the president is tweeting about you, that's got to have some effect on other people working in the federal government wondering if that will be their fate. >> absolutely. so other random dudes and dudettes are going to leave because they fear the same kind of treatment. so that's number one. but number two, the more important thing is anyone who has worked in the federal government knows federal government hiring is all about a competition for talent with the private sector and you're fighting and you don't have the salaries the private sector offers but you do have the mission and that's important. president trump has shown through his own hiring he doesn't care about talent very much. look at the people around him. but that's one thing if it's personal folks, but we're not talking about the american
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people's folks, the people who work at the work force for all of us, day in and day out. and what he is doing is effectively driving out the good people and once he drives them out he can replace them with his own loyalists and then we'll be stuck with mediocrity and politization for a long time to come. so that's the effect of this and that's why presidents of both parties have never done anything like what donald trump is doing now. >> is there a line that he would cross? i mean, i guess short of firing, is there any way for ohr to contest his treatment currently or does he have to sit there and be berated by the president day in and day out? >> i think he does have actions available to him now. obviously that's a tough thing, to sue your boss while you're in the job. >> right. >> but, look, i mean, there is no doubt that there are going to be any number of actions taken -- filed against the president because of this kind of nonsense behavior he's engaging in and it's bad for the individuals who work there. most importantly, it's bad for
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the american people. >> neal katyal, thank you for your time. >> thank you. next, a new guilty plea produced by the mueller investigation today. another one. the manafort associate that is now expected to cooperate with the special counsel in two minutes. i get unlimited 1.5% cash back. it's so simple, i don't even have to think about it. so i think about mouthfeel. i don't think about the ink card. i think about nitrogen ice cream in supermarkets all over the world. i think about the details. fine, i obsess over the details. think about every part of your business except the one part that works without a thought your ink card. introducing chase ink business unlimited with unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. chase for business. make more of what's yours. billions of problems. morning breath? garlic breath? stinky breath? there's a therabreath for you. therabreath fresh breath oral rinse instantly fights all types of bad breath and works for 24 hours. so you can... breathe easy. there's therabreath at walmart.
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yet another person pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel. after an investigation that stemmed from the mueller probe. this case was referred by the special counsel's team to the u.s. attorney's office for the district of columbia, much like michael cohen's case was referred to the southern district of new york. the person in question, sam patton, is republican lobbyist who worked on behalf of ukrainian interests. patton pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent. he also said he used a u.s. citizen as a straw donor in order to buy four tickets to the presidential inauguration on behalf of a ukrainian oligarch. can't do that. and while patton's deal isn't with mueller, it does explicitly
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require him to talk to mueller. reading from the plea agreement, your client shall cooperate fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly with this office, the special counsel's office and other law enforcement authorities. here to put this latest plea deal into perspective, rosalyn helderman from the winnipesaukewinnipesauke "washi post." tell me who he is. >> a long time republican operative consultant. he worked for the george bush campaign in 2000 and like a lot of people employed in the field, he had sort of traveled the world doing work overseas. he had also run for a time the office of the international republican institute, i believe, which is an organization dedicated to spreading democracy around the world affiliated with the republican party. he had run that office in moscow where importantly he first met
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constanti constanti constantine kalinik. >> he's the one who received the infamous e-mail there paul manafo manafort. have you told oleg how do we use it to make it whole? that guy has connections to patton? >> yes,. bob mueller and his team are interested in konstantin kilimnik. they used the company to do lobbying work for ukraine, which is the charges sam patton pled
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guilty to today. >> there's also the trau straw issue. what was the scheme? >> foreign citizens can't make political contributions in the united states, not to campaigns, not to inaugural committees. patton was working for this ukrainian politician, oligarch, who wanted to come to the inauguration but to go to the inauguration you have to give money to the inauguration. he found an american willing to do that, and he was on the paperwork for $50,000 but the money came from the ukrainian businessman. and the ukrainian businessman and patton attended the inauguration. >> taking aside of the question of what the trump campaign did vis-a-vis collusion, what does
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seem clear is that there are lots of kremlin-aligned interests at various stages constantly pinging and pinging and trying to get to the trump folks. >> the inauguration is an interesting moment where you can see that come together. we've done some reporting about just the unusually large number of russian businessmen, kremlin-allied folks who come together in washington to literally celebrate donald trump's inauguration and election. >> and when you get a firm owned by a russian oligarch, that oligarch also at the inauguration. so this is one data point in a cluster of quite a few. >> yeah, that's right. that's a day that increasingly seems especially important, the day they come together. >> rosalind helderman, thank you
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for joining me. >> thank you. ahead, a familiar personnel for the trump white house rears its head again. a staffer for the department of homeland security with white nationalist ties. who would have guessed? he also attended immigration policy meetings for the trump administration. that story right after this. ♪ there are roadside attractions. and then there's our world-famous on-road attraction. the 2019 glc, starting at $40,700. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. lojust use priceline.ls on travel? you can save up to 60% on hotels. that's like $120 a night back in your pocket. go to priceline to get deals you won't find anywhere else.
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there have been a lot of stories about white supremacists and racists in this administration and i suspect it's not a coincidence. the latest, ian smith, that's his real name, a former homeland security official whom the "atlantic" reports was an e-mail contact with white nationalists. in one conversation about an upcoming dinner, one man wrote, quote, so it's settled, we know
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34 i home shall remain judenfrei. that means free of jews, which the nazis described. smith responded, they don't call ifreitag for nothing. i was going to talk to matt parrot. i should have time to drop by. this comes weeks after a white house speech writer was fired after revelations he spoke at a conference attended by white nationalists. here to talk about what's going on, michelle goldberg a the "new york times" and rosy gray who reported on those e-mails. there's the spectrum of people, lots of people who have lost their job in this administration for things they have written or said, facebook posts about the president or michelle obama or birth certificate.
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i am still kind of catching my breath from the nature of these e-mails. who was this guy hanging out with? >> well, what i reported is that, you know, basically ian smith was in e-mail contact and appears been involved in the planning of social events with a circle of younger white nationalists in washington. people with ties to institutions like the national policy institute or american renaissance and he appears to have known these people. >> yeah, but i want to, like -- i just feel like that language is maybe a little excessively polite. if someone is writing you an e-mail saying the party is going to be judenfrie, that's a nazi, even if it's tongue in cheek. that's a tongue in cheek joke made by someone -- >> it's a kind of ironic joke about their own anti-semitism, right? and much the same way that some of the same people who are in this e-mail chain were videotape ed doing the hitler salute.
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so it's ironic but not aaron yee -- ironic. >> what was ian smith doing in the department of homeland security. >> he was a policy analyst at dhs working on immigration. the "washington post" had a story yesterday that explained more about what he was up to within dhs. as far as him leaving the department, you know, i reached out to dhs earlier this week and they -- and the next day basically i learned that he had left and they sent me a statement condemning racism and condemning his radical ideology. >> just to be clear, he's working there for a while, you reach out saying i have information about who he's hanging out with, who he's in correspondence with, they then fire him? >> what i learn is that he had tendered his resignation.
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it seems pretty obvious that it was connected to my reporting. >> he is not the only one, of course, there's a guy named carl higbie who said all sorts of violence racist things. he was fired and then sent off to the trump aligned super pac where he did a bunch of events with mike pence. >> and this is the third uproar about administration connections to white nationalists this month. there was also a white house speech writer who left after it was revealed he had spoken at a conference alongside white nationalists. peter brimelow, who is one of the white nationalist speakers at that conference, was invited to a party at larry kudlow, the white house economic adviser's home. larry kudlow then said oh, i didn't know what his views were, everyone knows what this man's views are. and i think that one conclusion we might want to draw from this is that this is a white nationalist administration.
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not everyone in the administration is white nationalist, but it's certainly an administration that has white nationalist policies, white nationalist sympathies, the president regularly employs white nationalists and outright white supremacist rhetoric like when he tweeted 2the lie about genocide of white farmers in south africa and directed the state department to then investigate this white nationalist conspiracy theory. there are, i would wager, more outright white nationalists in this administration than there are black people. >> ian smith was a political appointee. this was not someone in the civil service, obviously? >> that's my understanding, yes. >> and so you've got a -- you've got people -- people think about who is in the white house but there are all kinds of people in the agencies and sort of at the top of the agencies that are the political folks. it's easy for them not -- like the times hadn't broken this, who knows how long he would have been there, i guess is my
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question. >> well, right. i mean, obviously he was not somebody who is particularly well known. i imagine that if i hadn't written the story he could have just continued to labor in obscurity. >> and again, labor in obscurity on immigration policy attending meetings that stephen miller was apparently running as an interagency process to craft the vision of how the united states will enforce its immigration laws as regards refugees, non-white people. >> right. well, that's why this is such a significant story because it appears that ian smith played a not-inconsequential role in shaping u.s. immigration policy. >> stephen miller is someone who is the one running those meetings, of course, knew richard spencer at duke, though he says they had nothing to do with each other even though they ran in somewhat similar circles. >> and the speech writer who left wrote speeches for richard spencer. and the immigration policy that we have, the policy that we have towards refugees and
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increasingly towards american citizens at the border is exactly what you would expect if a bunch of white nationalists were running that part of the u.s. government. >> you've also got a president -- remember, the president of the united states said that africa -- said haiti and other african nations were s-hole countries. >> it's in front of our face and it's such a living nightmare we've become accustomed to and something happens that reminds us how horrific this is. >> do you know anything more about who these folks were that he was e-mailing with, rosie? the people setting up judenfrei dinner parties? >> i do, yes. some of the people he was in contact with include activists such as devon saucier who has edited for american renaissance under a pseudonym and others. i can give you the full list if you want. >> the names of obscure -- hopefully -- racists and white supremacists in washington, d.c. it's interesting to me -- >> 1
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>> to sum up, yes. >> it's interesting this kind of underground exists and is bumping up against the trump white house which, as you say, is not that surprising, michelle goldberg and rosie gray. coming up, beto o'rorke is catching up. catching up. ational. because national lets me lose the wait at the counter... ...and choose any car in the aisle. and i don't wait when i return, thanks to drop & go. at national, i can lose the wait...and keep it off. looking good, patrick. i know. (vo) go national. go like a pro. you always get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed? let's say it in a really low voice. carl? lowest price, guaranteed. just stick with badda book. badda boom.
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there's a building in chicago, illinois, you might have heard of called trump tower. it's a trump building, it is in chicago and that building is being sued by the illinois attorney general because it is allegedly killing a huge number of fish by sucking river water into its cooling system without regard to all the fish getting sucked in along with it. now, lots of buildings along the chicago river use the water in this way, but they are required to take precautions to not suck in all the fish in the river. trump tower has, you'll be shocked to hear, allegedly been ignoring those precautions. no one can say for sure how many fish trump tower has killed. here's what we do know -- trump doesn't care about fish. trump cares about birds. >> when there's thousands of birds laying at the base of the windmill, what do we do? isn't that amazing? the environmentalists, we like windmills. oh, really? what about the thousands of birds they're killing? try going to the bottom of a windmill someday. not a pretty picture.
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>> and that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
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donald trump hates wind mills. not because someone erected some near his golf courses and he thought it ruined the view, no. but because windmills, quote, create a killing field of birds. although wind turbines kill birds, they don't kill nearly as many birds as cats or cars or windows s is i s is in tall bu the one donald trump owns. his buildings kill fish, lots and lots of fish. but birds? a "new york times" tally has found that trump has mentioned turbines more than 55 times since 2012. >> there's a lot of hoopla about windmills they're horrible looking structures. they make noise, they kill birds by the thousand by the way, many countries decided they don't want wind because it doesn't work without massive subsidies, it kills massive amounts of
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birds and wildlife. the wind is very tough because those windmills are very expensive and they kill the birds and they look very terrible. isn't it amazing the way the environmentalists love the windmills and they kill all the birds the wind kills all your birds. you know the environmentalists never talk about that. in california, if you kill a bald eagle, they put you in jail for five years yet the windmills knock them out like flies. it's crazy. i don't want to just hope the wind blows to light up your homes and your factory. as the birds fall to the ground. bing, that's the end of that one. if the birds don't kill it first. the birds could kill it first. they kill so many birds, you look underneath those windmills it's like a killing field of birds. try going to the bottom of a windmill someday, it's not a pretty picture. discover has no annual fees. really?
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>> in the case of lying ted cruz, lying ted, lies, oh, he lies. you know, ted, he brings, the bible, holds it high, puts it down, lies. >> matter of principle -- >> you are the single biggest liar. you are the single biggest liar. he holds up the bible and then he lies. >> we learned today president trump will be holding a rally for senator ted cruz in october. trump tweeted he'll be picking the biggest stadium he can find. there's a lot of big ones in texas as senator cruz attempts
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to beat back an unexpectedly tough challenge from congressman beto o'rourke. the relationship between donald trump and ted cruz has been one of mutual contempt and mutual convenience. you may recall that when the two were both candidates for president in spring, 2016, and cruz was showing traction, trump retweeted a picture of heidi cruz and melania trump with the caption "the images are worth a thousand words." and cruz responded with this. >> i don't get angry often but you mess with my wife, you mess with my kids, that will do it every time. donald you're a sniveling coward. leave heidi the hell alone. >> reporter: will you support him as the nominee. >> i'm going to beat him. >> spoiler alert. he didn't. just a couple months later trump suggested that ted cruz's father might have been involved in the assassination of jfk, a bit of reporting he picked up from the "national enquirer." >> his father was with lee harvey oswald prior to oswald being, you know, shot.
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the whole thing is ridiculous. what is this? right prior to his being shot and nobody brings it up. they don't talk about that. that was reported and nobody talks about it. but i think it's horrible. >> it's true. no one talks about that. here's how ted cruz responded to that. >> donald trump alleges that my dad was involved in assassinating jfk. let's be clear. this is nuts. donald's source for this is the "national enquirer." the "national enquirer" is tabloid trash, but it's run by his good friend david pecker, the ceo, who's endorsed donald trump and is so the "national enquirer" has become his hit piece. i'll tell you what i think of donald trump. this man is a pathological liar. >> even at the republican national convention, cruz couldn't bring himself to openly support him. >> stand and speak and vote your
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conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faith to feel the constitution. >> so independent, so brave, just standing up to that roomful of booing people. just amazing. but by the fall of 2016, ted cruz had come around, he endorsed donald trump, he even worked the phones to get him elected so, yeah, now cruz will get trump's help and cruz may need it because the race has tightened in a very red texas. that's next. the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years, humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers,
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i take this as an indication of the fact that we are in contention in this race. the fact that ted cruz whose father was accused by the president of killing john fitzgerald kennedy, this president who made denigrating comments about his family, who personally attacked him, is coming this state to try to save his election means the people of
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trefls more than a match for the corporate spending, the political action committees, the special interests and the partisan politics. >> congressman o'rourke. let's bring in our contributor, evan, i'll start with you. i'm going to play evan smith for a second and you tell me if i have it right. you outsiders, you always have these fantasies that they will turn blue and then they get their butt whipped and you're doing it again. what do you think? >> i don't even need to be on the show. did you me perfectly. >> do you think we're looking at another situation here? >> i don't think there's a straight line if wendy davis on beto o'rourke. i think the national media is swooning over him. it is like the beatles landing at jfk. old people finaling and young
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people screaming. he is a very talented candidate. the most cares mattic and the most people athleticic to run since an richards. but texas is not just red. it is blood red. he has a math problem in texas. he has to turn out many more democrats than typically turn out in an election like the and he has to hope that voters are turned off by ted cruz or donald trump or both. >> it was interesting to watch that block we just did. every time i go back to the republican primary, it is fascinating to watch republicans be honest about the just freakish awfulness that they see in this guy, donald trump. you watch person after person have this sort of reaction. what kind of nutty liar am i up against? and they've all eaten that, including ted cruz famously, who will now beg the president to come to texas. >> when i was watching that, i thought, gosh, there was a moment when ted cruz sort of
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sympathized with him. he was honest. he seemed kind of genuine but all that is in the rear view mirror. i think a red state like texas gives a republican, no matter how good or how bad he is as a candidate, a big lead, the fact is the polls are a lot closer than they should be. and perhaps that is part of the fact ted cruz spent a lot of time running for president. not really being a senator. part of that is he has an abrasive, obnoxious personality. republican voters fleeing the party. whether that's enough to get beto o'rourke across the finish line, we'll have to see but it should not be this close. >> yeah. to jennifer's point, i don't want to lower the bar here. but given the incredibly bad performance statewide for years, decades, okay? you know, to me, all of the
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data, the president announcing this today. the club for growth will be coming in with some sort of air support for ted cruz. it does suggest that at least from cruz and republicans' perspective, it is a race. this is a real thing they're encountering. >> right. they're sounding the alarm. i think the cruz campaign would tell you that they're not taking this race lightly. they understand beto has overperformed relative to expectations. he has outraised them. he's been to all 254 counties. he is an energetic campaigner. he is getting all this incredibly positive press attention. to jennifer's point with the polls. let me drill down one second. the same polls that polled the governor's race also polled the senate race. the popular republican. the democrat running for governor is not a particularly strong candidate. nothing like beto. and in the same polls that shoulder it single digits, in some cases, mid to low single
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digits. so you have to believe there are beto o'rourke voters or something is going on as it relates to that one point being a focal point for democrats, all things left to the side, they see an opportunity. it is a closer race. >> i think the reason ted cruz is doing so much worse is number one, a worst candidate than greg abbott. and number two, ted cruz is an easier possibly to knock down. so what's going on here, you might not have split voters. you might have voters who vote to top of the ticket and don't vote for senate. you might have a lot of voters who stay home. they figure, he's ahead by 20 votes. he doesn't need my vote and i don't know what i want to do about cruz. so the danger is in mobilization and getting people to affirmativively vote for ted
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cruz. maybe he can get through one debate. but five debates, can cruz keep on mr. charming? or will he be the nasty, aggressive guy we saw during the presidential race? i don't think it is a good idea for him to be out five debates. >> the debate thing is interesting. usually the front-runner doesn't want to debate and the challenger wants tunnel of debates and it has been shortly inverted. cruz wants them friday night during football season in texas which is a little weird. this is texas. >> friday night? sacrosanct. last time the one debate was friday night during college football season. and nobody saw it. and the governor's race again, the only debate, friday night. >> so here's the question. i think the cruz bet is, look. ultimately, the fundamentals are the fundamentals. the more that i can get female hear beto o'rourke, culture war, we were talking about colin
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kaepernick for an hour. the more i can talk to him about stuff that will rile up the redness of your media texas voter. is that the strategy? >> he is. and cruz has been debating manile years going back to his days at printton and i think gloat o'rourke is untested and may not have much of a command of issues. i have seen him on the campaign trail. i've interviewed betbeto. he talks in paragraphs. it is a risk for cruz to put himself on stage with o'rourke five times. o'rourke may be better off not debating. he is doing pretty well right now out in the 254 counties not facing cruz. maybe he would rather not debate. >> i think the problem is that there's still a large number of voters who don't have an pinlt of beto o'rourke.
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and ted cruz is coming in and dumping a lot of negative campaigning on him. as if to say, i'll a pretty normal guy and here are my issues. ted cruz thinks he is a great debater but he didn't win, if you want to put that it way, a single republican debate in 20 debates that he was in. when he gets on the stage, he gets smirky. he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room. he didn't win any of the debates. can he control himself enough? can he subliminate his natural personality enough, not condescend to beto o'rourke to stay on that stage? >> i think beto should just talk about the possibility of his father's involvement in the jfk assassination for an hour, five nights in a row. what a bizarre time we are living through. thank you both. >> thank you. >> if you have a three-day weekend, what better time catch up on our podcast. why is this happening?
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mehdi hasan tells us where we end up. that's "all in" for this evening. >> happy weekend, my friend. thank you for joining us this hour. friday night before a holiday weekend, it always pays to go to work if you work in the news business. if you don't work in the news business, it always pays to watch the news. pay attention to the news. on friday nights in general, right? it is legendary. but particularly before a holiday that you can see coming a long way off. always good idea. and today is proving that rule of citizenship and the rule of the news once again. it has been a very busy day today on lots of fronts. particularly in the courts. just tonight, for example, after close of business, the u.s. attorney in washington, d.c. filed this motion in federal court in washington asking for a
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